I reviewed for the Chronicle:

“Ah, the conditions ballet dancers will work with to popularize their art. Watching Diablo Ballet at Walnut Creek’s Shadelands Arts Center Auditorium, I thought of the greats who used to appear on the “Bell Telephone Hour”: Rudolf Nureyev, Maria Tallchief, Erik Bruhn, their outsize talents crammed onto a cheesily decorated TV show soundstage. Except Friday night it was Rory Hohenstein, easily one of the country’s finest male dancers, ignoring Shadelands’ cramped performing space and cafeteria-like surroundings, radiating enough charisma to fill an opera house.

The reasons for Diablo Ballet’s engagements at Shadelands are clear: This resourceful chamber ensemble, just celebrating its 17th anniversary, has smartly downsized its season by packaging two programs as “Inside the Dancers Studio,” offering an hourlong sampling followed by audience Q&A.

Hohenstein’s reasons for appearing with Diablo Ballet are less obvious: He’s a former San Francisco Ballet principal who left that troupe just as his career was taking off and has since been seen with Christopher Wheeldon’s now-disbanded troupe. But I’ll take him wherever I can see him.

He was masterful Friday in “Dancing Miles,” delivering Kelly Teo’s cute and competent jazz-inflected choreography with every muscle of his catlike body, leaving no opportunity for phrasing untended, teasing out long pauses at the end of effortless pirouettes. He was also gorgeous in Tina Kay Bohnstedt’s “The Mirror,” to Erik Satie, playing Mayo Sugano’s reflective alter ego with sensuous androgyny. (One of these days, he ought to dance Nijinsky’s role in “Spectre de la Rose.”)”

Keep reading here. (The amateur photograph accompanying the article seems appropriate.)

1 Comment

  • Burl Willes Posted May 8, 2011 8:30 am

    Diablo Ballet’s INSIDE THE DANCERS;
    STUDIO last night (May 7) included
    outstanding live music. What a welcome
    and much-appreciated surprise.
    Rory Hohenstein is now a member,
    no longer just a guest, so we need
    to spread the word to help support
    this small but excellent company.
    MY WAY was Rory at his best.
    William Barbini on violin was terrific.
    This was worth the trip to Walnut Creek.

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